A few months ago, I read the synopsis for this book, and I thought it sounded intriguing. I put it on my wish list and I waited for the day it was published, and I ordered the book.
It just so happened that I was out of the office sick for the day so I stayed in my bed and began reading this anticipated read.
Well, within two chapters, I was disappointed. The book just didn't seem to be edited well; there were passages that left me re-reading them because they lacked coherency. I liked the hero more than I liked the heroine, and every other character (except maybe the dead cat and the young girl) had no redeeming qualities that made them stand out as individuals.
I'm really surprised to learn that this book is part of a series and I will not be reading any more books in this series. Spoilers ahead!!
So the heroine is some spinster cousin to two young heiresses. The father of the heiresses is a wealthy baron who is trying to exchange his wealth for a higher title for his daughter. Well, apparently, the so-called Earl of this story really isn't earl... he's a viscount in name only who could be the earl if his older brother is dead. (I'm a stickler for English titles but I acknowledge that there may be different rules for Scotland, but I believe a younger brother doesn't hold a courtesy title even if he is the heir. He remains Mr. So and So until he assumes the title.) I am assuming that the assumed dead older brother returns from Canada and thus gets his own book in the series.
You wouldn't know this book was part of a series because there are FOUR (4)-- YES! FOUR -- romances in this book. One brother marries one sister, another brother marries the cousin, the sister marries the brother (not her brother), and another brother marries the aunt. About a third of the way into the book, I got so tired of trying to remember which brother was which and who he was supposed to be attracted to, that I just began skipping pages after pages. I probably read only half the book in total. Another annoyance was that the heroine wasn't a virgin, and I happen to like my older shy spinsters to be virgins in my historical romances. But that's my own personal nitpick. If this shy older spinster cousin is supposed to be the chaperon, she's really terrible at it. She ended up sleeping with (dare I say seducing) the man that her cousin is expected to wed; granted, no formal agreement had been made but for most of the book, all of the characters have accepted that this match will take place. So, she's sleeping with the guy and thinking - gee, I really should feel sorry for my cousin.
Now, if you weren't impressed by the FOUR romances, you may be impressed by the fact there is also a murder plot involved. Oh, and Prince Albert makes an appearance as the bumbling and affable neighbor who sets the record straight on who is really the heiress in the picture.
***** End of Spoilers *****